|Bulldogs take measure of Lady Jeffcats|
|Wednesday, September 11, 2013 12:29 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
COLUMBUS GROVE — Jefferson’s volleyball team was coming off a rough loss to Antwerp the night before when they invaded Columbus Grove High School to tangel with the Northwest Conference power Bulldogs Tuesday night.
They fought to the very end in set number 1, faltering 25-22.
The hosts had too much size, power and versatility in finishing the sweep 25-9, 25-12.
“The first set, we played with the great effort we need to play with to have a chance for success. We had a chance to win it but we weren’t consistent enough,” Jefferson coach Joy DeVelvis explained. “If we had played the next two sets like we did the first, we’d have had a much better chance to win it. For some reason, we’re struggling with consistency in our play. Right now, it’s more mental than anything; like in the second set, we got down 7-1 and by the time we finally broke their serve, we were down too far. We have to address that in practice.”
Pacing the Wildcats (3-4, 0-1 NWC), senior Rileigh Stockwell had four kills and seven digs, followed by senior Katie Goergens (3 kills; 6/7 serving, 2 aces) and junior Brooke Culp (8 assists).
For Lady Bulldog (5-2, 1-0 NWC) first-year head coach Susan Jones, it took her team a while to get going.
“For some reason, we needed to wake up in the first set. Once we did and got the win, we got it rolling,” Jones noted. “These girls know how to play the game with their experience and smarts; I didn’t need to re-invent the wheel when I took over this program this summer. Like anytime, you always want to improve your defense and your serving. We are looking for steady improvement in what we’re doing, the things we can control.”
Leading Grove’s attack were senior Julia Wynn (18 kills, 2 blocks), Sammie Stechschulte (7 kills), Rachel Schumacher (19 assists; 11/11 serving), Kelli Vorst (11/11 serving, 3 aces; 10 digs) and Hope Schroeder (7 digs; 2 aces).
DeVelvis also credited the Bulldogs for their effort.
“They have so much depth and versatility, plus they have a lot more size than we do,” she added. “For example, they are running offensive options at the net we haven’t seen yet this year. To try and slow down hitting, you need to get blocks and touches to give your defense a chance to dig it up. It took us a while to adjust to their offense; we weren’t getting those touches until later.”
Jones figures her team has a couple more things to address.
“We want to speed up our offense even more,” she added. “We were bumped up to Division III and that means we’ll be facing powers like Liberty-Benton and Ottawa-Glandorf in the tournament. That is one of the things we are shooting for, so we have to improve in that area in particular and just everything overall.”
Grove won the junior varsity match 25-13, 25-19.
Grove visits Miller City tonight with a 6:30 p.m. varsity match (no JV).
Jefferson returns home to host Crestview 6 p.m. Thursday.